UGEE Joint Research Programme

Reports now available 

The UGEE Joint Research Programme reports are now available for download. Click here to view the reports.

There are 11 reports published:

  • UGEE Joint Research Programme Integrated Synthesis Report
  • Final Report 1: Baseline Characterisation of Groundwater, Surface Water and Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Summary Report 1: Baseline Characterisation of Groundwater, Surface Water and Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Final Report 2: Baseline Characterisation of Seismicity
  • Summary Report 2: Baseline Characterisation of Seismicity
  • Final Report 3: Baseline Characterisation of Air Quality
  • Summary Report 3: Baseline Characterisation of Air Quality
  • Final Report 4: Impacts & Mitigation Measures
  • Summary Report 4: Impacts & Mitigation Measures
  • Final Report 5: Regulatory Framework for Environmental Protection
  • Summary Report 5: Regulatory Framework for Environmental Protection

 
Background

Unconventional Gas Exploration & Extraction (UGEE) involves hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of low permeability rock to permit the extraction of natural gas on a commercial scale from unconventional sources such as shale gas deposits, coal seams and tight sandstones (Figure 1).

 

UGEE Cross-section Diagram  

Figure 1: Representation of a typical fracking operation.
The shale gas is confined in particular geological layers and extracted by hydraulic fracturing
of that rock by pressurised water, sand and some other additives.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a contract to a consortium led by CDM Smith Ireland Limited (view more details), who will carry out a 24-month research programme looking at the potential impacts on the environment and human health from UGEE projects and operations (including construction, operation and aftercare). The research programme is composed of five projects and will involve field studies (baseline monitoring of water and seismicity), as well as an extensive desk-based literature review of UGEE practices worldwide.

No fracking will be undertaken as part of the research programme.

 

The research programme is funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, DCCAE (formerly DCENR and the Environment Division of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG)) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). The research programme is managed by a steering committee comprising the EPA, representatives from DCCAE, the Geological Survey of Ireland, Commission for Energy Regulation, An Bord Pleanála, NIEA, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Health Services Executive.

 

Timeline

Public Consultation on the draft Terms of Reference for the proposed research programme

January – March 2013

 

Invitation to tender for the 24-month research programme

November 2013

 

Award of the contract for the research programme to a consortium led by CDM Smith Ireland Limited

August 2014

 

UGEE Joint Research Programme

First Phase

First Phase

Starting in August 2014

                                      

February 2015: Project A1 -Groundtruthing survey                                          

April 2015: UGEE Joint Research Programme Tasks Update

July 2015: UGEE Joint Research Programme Tasks Update

December 2015: UGEE Joint Research Programme Tasks Update

 

Review the outputs of the First Phase

Preparation of an Integrated Report 

 October 2016:

View Statement

Publication of the Research Outputs from the First Phase

 

 

  • UGEE JRP Projects Final Technical Reports
  • UGEE JRP Projects Summary Reports
  • UGEE JRP Integrated Report

 

 November 2016: Publication of 11 reports (View reports)

 

More Information

Other Information:

 

Contact

For more information or any queries on the UGEE Research Programme, please contact research@epa.ie